Writer showcases underground Erie hip-hop artists

GRANT KRUSZEWSKI
staff writer

Compton, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Queens…and Erie?
You may not know what all of these cities have in common but I can tell you that it is an unbelievable amount of musical talent.
Little do the mainstream hip-hop fans of Erie realize, but their town is a hotbed of hip-hop talent ranging anywhere from your classic bar dropper to your usual singer.
There are not just one or two hip-hop studs in the 814, but actually about four to five artists in Erie who are one hit away from blowing up. These artists include Aaron Rennel, Flamingo$, KENNY BA$E and Elias, If Only.
In addition to these artists, there is also a producer that you all should check out.
The first artist that I will introduce to you is Aaron Rennel.
Rennel is one of the best artists in the Erie area. His flow and lyrics are unmatched.
With the right producer and beat, Rennel is truly able to connect to a beat and drop a hit at anytime.
He seems to love using deep-cut beats. He has a great history of work on his SoundCloud, which can be found under “Aaron Rennel.”
Some of his best songs are “Pleeze,” “Only Us,” “All The Time” and most recently, “Drunk Drivin.’”
The music video for “Drunk Drivin’” is available to watch on YouTube as well.
Flamingo$, a Cathedral Prep School graduate, is the second artist.
He is arguably the most underrated rapper among the artists listed in this article.
His sound is like no other in Erie and he raps from the soul, which is very important when listening to an artist.
The best part about his work is consistent releases by doing things such as “Flamingo Friday.”
He just recently dropped “Change of Heart,” which is his newest project that can be found on AudioMack.
He is also active on SoundCloud, which is where he normally releases tracks.
His username is “Flamingo$.” My favorite tracks of his include, “Going Hard,” “Daily High,” “Honestly” and “Dominoes 2.0.”
Kenny Ba$e is the third artist on this list and he is the brother of Aaron Rennel, but they have completely different flows.
Kenny usually raps at a much faster pace than Aaron, although he can slow it down when he is feeling that type of track.
Kenny Ba$e has a very unique sound and is very easy to listen to because of it.
Some of his best work can be found on his SoundCloud under the name “KENNY BA$E.” My favorites include “Berserk,” “Smash & Gas,” “Skate” and “IDKTN.”
Fourth on this list is Gannon University’s very own Elias, If Only. He is one of the best singers currently in the 814.
His unique voice and sound are similar to KENNY BA$E. This makes listening to him very easy.
He is currently part of a popular SoundCloud music group called The Dean that is getting a lot of love on the SoundCloud platform.
The group is very talented, but you can be the judge of that. Go check out his SoundCloud, “Elias, If Only,” and his group’s, “The Dean.”
Some of my favorite tracks include “Crystals” and the hit “Bean Over Cream.”
Last on this list is the best producer from Erie, JP. Referred to as JPSM on SoundCloud, JP is a great young producer who is never afraid of trying different sounds.
This is evident in his SoundCloud and his wide variety of beats and sounds.
His most recent EP “98’” was sponsored by yours truly, Keep Reaching Up.
The EP included four tracks, all with experimental sounds.
Although his discography is impressive, most of his followers want to see what he does next, as he is constantly improving with every beat he drops.
My favorite beats include “Making Plays,” “Heat Check,” “Contact High” and his most recent beat, “41 Pack.”
So, if you ever find yourself bored with your current playlist, which I’m sure you do from time to time, check out these artists. They are great artists and just one play, line or 808 away from making it big.
Plus, what’s better than supporting local art? Nothing.

GRANT KRUSZEWSKI
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